My last blog was ‘My thoughts on what is not supposed to be.” I related my embarrassing tale of my unsuccessful attempt to get back my ex-girlfriend and my interaction with the hairy man in his boxers that did get the girl. If you missed that, read 12/31/10 blog first.
There is a freeing power in accepting the events, people and the choices of your past. And I mean accepting everything fully. Even the stuff as painful as loosing the girl that you broke up with to teach her a lesson! Then the girl get a new boyfriend instead of begging to come back! … I mean, generally speaking that is. Anyway… We spoke of the peace and freedom that comes from accepting everything that happened REALLY WAS the way it was SUPPOSED TO BE.
I just want to acknowledge how inconsistent that may sound. If that is so for you, I would like to add this distinction. The way “it” is “supposed to be” is not same as the way “I prefer” “it” to be. Making these two statements synonymous will bring you much sorrow. I say, when you choose to say of anything that it is exactly the way it is “supposed to be”, you free yourself from a heavy weight. The weight is from attempting to change what really is. It is like saying “I am not in Missouri” when I am standing in the state of Missouri just because I freezing in the cold weather that comes in January when you are there. I will bring much suffering to myself by making my mantra “I shouldn’t be in Missouri!”. It is really insanity to even consider that such a repeated thought about an un-preferred situation will bring me something that I do prefer. Yet if I were to accept the reality of the sub-zero temperatures there in Missouri and choose to shift my attention to, “How do I get to California?”, I would soon notice how much energy and creativity would instantly be created. I would instantly see countless opportunities to get what I want that were previously hidden due to my resistance to how reality was not what it was supposed to be.
What causes our suffering is not the circumstances of the world around us, but our beliefs of the world around us. When we believe that something should be different than it is (“My husband should love me more,” “My wife should appreciate me”, “My dog shouldn’t have peed on my pillow”) we suffer, and when we don’t believe these thoughts, we feel peace.
Now pay attention here. This is when we turn the corner from ashes to beauty.
What happens when you allow yourself to accept it all as perfect? And by perfect I mean that it happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen. What happens? …You finally take your eyes off of that tragedy of the past, all that stuff you do not prefer and enable yourself to look at where life is at this moment.
Taking your eyes off of the life you don’t want and on to the life you do is almost the whole battle.
The great Apostle said, “I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” In other words, don’t spend any energy on the bad stuff! You create more of that which you focus on. We think we are protecting ourself by focusing on all that we don’t want in our life. We think that this will help us, so we can know how to avoid it. But this is exactly the opposite! Our conscious brain has a limit to what it can think about at any given time. It is from 3 to 40 bits of information at a time. Not a whole lot. When we are looking out for all the problems you know are there, you take up the limited awareness space with looking for those problems. And trust me, if you look there is always a problem or something you don’t prefer to find. The price you pay is all the possibility that is missed because your problems became your focus. Allow me to illustrate.
The closest star to the planet Earth is the sun. It is so big, if you hollowed out the sun you could fit 1.3 million Earths inside of it and still have room to spare! Despite this nearly inconceivable size, if you hold up your thumb close enough to your eye you can blot it entirely out of the sky. And so with the painful events of our life. If we keep spending our energy on readdressing and pondering over these events we can entirely blot out the rich, exciting and fulfilling life that is also right in front of us. But we don’t even see it! All we see is problems. Just changing where you put your attention can enable you to see the life hiding behind your horrible story.
T.S. Eliot, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century, masterfully captured this when he said, “We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”
I think this is what Isaiah was getting at when he told this to the Israelite people.
“He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners. … and to comfort all who mourn, …
give them beauty instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
…They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.”
– Isaiah 61, The Bible
You are that city. This is your calling. It is to take this life, even the parts you would consider ruined, and say, “The past is how it was supposed to be since there is no changing it and the future is just the result of what I choose now.” If we could really believe this, we would free ourselves. We’d be freed from the crippling weight of a self-imposed responsibility to change an event that doesn’t exist anymore. This is because it is in the past! And only place a past event can still exist is in your mind.
So how can you have the best life ever even when all hell is breaking out around you? The first step is accepting that what is happening around you is supposed to be happening. Giving yourself permission to do this will free you from finding all you don’t want and to see the optimal life and opportunity that is right in front of you. Keep your eyes on your vision. Don’t waist an ounce of energy on the thousand reasons why you will fail or what is or has been “wrong”. Instead, I recommend following the great apostle’s advice:
I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
The letter to the Philippians 4, The Bible
Jesus from Galilee, the great teacher said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Notice Jesus did not say ‘I will fix the world’. The world is going to stay the way it is. Your issues are as they should be. Here is the beauty from ashes.
Your issues are real AND you can choose life.
The Man from Galilee was a beautiful example of overcoming and being life in the midst of a world of many issues. A world the way I think it “should be” (the way I’d prefer) is not available at this time. But, you are called to a higher life to be “IN, but not OF the world.” You, like the rest of the happy people in the world, are called to overcome the perfect trials in this world. And every time you do, every time you take your attention off the issues and put your attention onto the life you have and you’d prefer, you become more peaceful, more joyful, more excited, more loving and life gets better.
Experiment with this. You will love it!
In fact, once you get on board with this concept, it works so well that it’s almost like the world is exactly the way it should be.
If you suffer, or are stuck and can’t get going, Contact Me.
Along with getting my clients results, first I get people unstuck. And along the way I help free you from your suffering.
To your success,